July will begin with a bang in Fondren as a trio of summer events focus on family fun with a patriotic twist. St. Richards Catholic Church will host a picnic, Broadmeadow Neighborhood Association will host a parade and Fondren Association of Businesses will host a festival. All are free and open to the public.

On Sunday July 1, St. Richards’ annual picnic begins at 6pm and includes pony rides, a motorized train, inflatables, and a fireworks show at dusk. Director of Christian Services Raymond Barry said the event is a good way to reach out to people who may have never been on the church grounds. “It builds good will as an interfaith, all ages event,” Barry told us. While the event is costly to put on, it’s enjoyed by many. “We think it’s worth it.” In addition to the activities, The Knights of Columbus will sell hamburgers, hotdogs and roasted corn. Free desserts will be offered. Music is planned from a local band and all are welcome.

On Wednesday July 4, join Broadmeadow Neighborhood Association (BNA) as they march through the streets for their annual Independence Day parade. You’ll find a bag piper, kids on bikes and in wagons and neighbors dressed in costume, like last year’s Hawaiian themed event. Mary Purvis, publicist for BNA, says everyone loves a parade. “It provides a wonderful opportunity to gather together, meet new friends and neighbors and celebrate Independence Day and our neighborhood,” said Purvis. The next day, Thursday July 5, Fondren Association of Businesses (Fab) hosts the third annual Freedom Fest on Duling Green at the corner of Old Canton Road and Duling Avenue. Past events have included inflatables, cotton candy, sno cones, popcorn and a parade lead by musicians. Bicycles and wagons are encouraged and patriotic dress makes the evening festive. The event is part of July’s Fondren after 5 and will raise funds for Folds of Honor Foundation.

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